Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Taylor eager for contest

Katie Taylor won lightweight gold at London 2012

Ireland's Katie Taylor is eagerly looking forward to her first fight on home soil as Olympic champion following confirmation of her return to competitive action in the new year.

Taylor will face an as-yet unconfirmed opponent on Sunday, February 24 at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre in Dublin as she begins her preparations for what she hopes will lead to a successful defence of her Olympic title in Rio 2016.

"It's great to have a date to focus on now and it will be great to box at home as Olympic champion," said Taylor.

The 26-year-old from Bray cemented her place in Irish sporting folklore by winning the nation's only gold medal at this summer's London Games after powering her way to glory in the lightweight division in front of thousands of Irish fans at the ExCeL Arena.

She claimed a gruelling 10-8 victory over experienced Russian Sofya Ochigava in the final.

Taylor added: "I was humbled by all the people who came over to support me in London, it felt like the Irish fans took over the arena for my fights, so it's great now that people will have a chance to see me on home soil taking on world-class opposition."

Taylor, who since the Games confirmed she will shun the professional ranks and remain amateur, is also looking to add to her four world and five European titles in the coming years.

"I'm still only 26 and I feel I have things to prove and things to achieve in the sport. I'm constantly learning in the gym and looking to improve. I've always set myself goals and I want to retain that Olympic title in Rio in 2016 and retain my European and world titles as well, so I'm hungrier than ever to keep improving," said Ireland's flag-bearer in London.

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